Great "How much to tip overseas?" Hunt



  • ManAtHome
    ManAtHome Posts: 8,512 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Canaries, I tend not to tip unless it's a "wow that's cheap" moment. Mainland Spain has the old tax/vat to absorb - in theory the Canaries should be cheaper but aren't. They were a good few years ago as was most of the Med, but "tourist inflation" has been running higher than normal inflation since the Euro appeared. (a bit like UK inflation when we went decimal).

    Don't panic though (I vaguely remember you were heading for GC?), costs around 'oop norf scroaty prices but better surroundings...
  • hi, I'm off to south east asia at the end of the year... can anyone tell me whether i need to tip in any of the following countries...
    Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Mayalsia, Singapore.

    Thank you very much :) x
  • TokyoJoe
    TokyoJoe Posts: 128 Forumite

    As previously stated most people in Japan do not expect and will not take monetary tips . However if you really believe someone has gone above and beyond give a small personal gift. The Japanese will except these and it shows a true understanding of their culture. ( e.g something small and unique to your hometown that could not be found in Japan - Small Beatrix Potter figure, small picture book , etc ) .
    Be Kind
  • tik33
    tik33 Posts: 61 Forumite
    Developing countries:

    Most of Se Asia - India, Indonesia, Laos, etc.

    I pretty much never tip there - unless you're in a fancy restaurant/hotel - locally, it just isn't done.

    Spain - again, locals don't tip - so I say follow the locals.

    I'm not sure that I believe in tipping anyway - why not be fair about it pay the waiters a decent wage and put the price in the price of the food. I've never really understood how tipping makes any kind of sense. Yes a cabbie drove me from A to B - well done - THAT'S HIS JOB!

    there was an article in the economist a while back that did a massive survey - and it clearly made no difference to the service in cultures where there is tipping to those where there are. Australia is fantastic service - and no tips! My wife who is an Aussie and worked at a cafe for 8 years refuses to tip - she says that if you work in the hospitality industry you should give good service as part of your job.

    Still, if it is the local culture - I don't pretend to try and take a stance - and I always tip black cab drivers and in restaurants - but I do wonder...
  • hitchhiker_2
    hitchhiker_2 Posts: 54 Forumite
    hi, I'm off to south east asia at the end of the year... can anyone tell me whether i need to tip in any of the following countries...
    Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Mayalsia, Singapore.

    Thank you very much :) x

    Tipping in Singapore is actually officially discouraged, even prohibited at the airport. In some restaurants, you might see signs saying "No Tipping Required". Restaurant bills will usually include a 10% service charge (this will be clearly indicated in the bill), which is theoretically supposed to go to the service staff, but I think in practice it just goes to management coffers (don't quote me though, I don't have the evidence to back it up!). However, if you leave a tip over the service charge (say, for exceptionally good service), you won't be turned down, and probably won't be chased around town trying to return your money.

    There may be some smaller establishments that do not impose a service charge. This is usually stated on the bill. It's polite to leave the customary 10% tip, but you won't be frowned upon if you don't. Local practice is sometimes to take the notes and leave the coins, but that's again up to you.

    Taxi drivers don't usually expect a tip as the fare is strictly metered. But again, you won't be turned down if you decide to leave him something, for example if he helps you with the luggage, etc. I'm not sure if there is a standard practice for hotel service staff (porter, cleaner, etc.), but probably no different from most cities in the world. Anything from $2 to $5 is probably the norm. Just to put things in context, £1 is approx SGD$2.96, and $2 can get you a decent bowl of noodles at the local food centre.

    In general, I'd say, tipping is optional. It's not generally expected but not totally unwelcome. The same is probably true in the more urban areas of Malaysia. I'm not sure about the other countries.

    Hope this helps. Have a good trip.
  • elvinpeel
    elvinpeel Posts: 5 Forumite
    We visited USA and in Cambridge,Mass, I was upbraided after our meal because I hadn't tipped enough. The waitress stood confrontationally in front of me in public until I made the tip up to the amount she felt I ought to have given her ! It seems that one pays for the food and Then you pay for it to be delivered to you. This system is time matured so it will not be altered. Best thing is to accept it for what it is and don't let them spoil the holiday.
  • gingercordial
    gingercordial Posts: 1,681 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Some findings from my worldwide travels...

    In general, the service charge will be included in restaurants (I forget whether it legally has to be...) so don't tip unless it specifically says service not included. I generally round up taxi fares but last time I rounded €18 up to €20 and the driver acted very surprised.

    You do tip but in cafes and the like you don't leave money on the table (I'm told this is considered rude), instead you call your waiter over, ask to pay and tell them how much you want to pay including the tip. They will then give you the right amount back after tip. Don't get your change then leave a tip on the table!

    I got chased out of a cafe in Ferrara last year because they thought I'd forgotten the €5 note I'd left on the table as a tip! Somehow don't think that would happen in Rome though.

    No tipping. In fact one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in London won't accept tips because it's not done in Japan.

    Can't remember tipping anywhere out there... And most definitely not on street food stalls, tuk tuks and the like. The taxis in Thailand will inflate their prices so much for tourists anyway!

    Just accept it, you tip everywhere, apart from possibly the subway and I'm sure that's only a matter of time... So when you look at menu prices, mentally add on the tax (don't get me started on how that's not included!) then twice that again for the tip. If you can't afford it, go somewhere cheaper - and do bear in mind that generally it's cheaper than in the UK anyway, for much more bigger portions (so share!), and the posters' comments above about minimum wages are true.

    You don't have to tip in takeaway establishments including coffee shops, although they will have a tips jar out, that's definitely not obligatory. Do tip if you get food delivered.

    Tip $1 per drink ordered in a bar. This will pay for itself as in a good bar they'll keep track of this, and you'll end up getting some rounds free - generally every 3rd or 4th round. This worked in quite a few of the ones we visited in New York. And the measures are huge too!

    Happy travelling!
  • mcn_2
    mcn_2 Posts: 4 Newbie
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I cannot believe that just because "it is the custom" people tip. Taxi drivers get a tip, yet they earn c40-50k pa, mcdonalds staff on minimum wage get nowt. Lets start a campaign to end all tipping now. I am serious
  • Dave1167
    Dave1167 Posts: 15 Forumite
    I do not believe in tipping. I know that some will say that there are those that receive low wages because tipping is widely accepted but I, whilst accepting that this happens, consider that we are subscribing to the wages which should be paid by the employer.
    I also accept that staff are 'taxed' on earnings but the culture needs to be changed. When I recently visited Las Vegas I made sure that it was me that carried my bags and refused to be assisted. Why should I be forced into giving a tip just because someone grabs my bag. I was amazed that outside the Hotel a man stood there and waved a taxi in to pick up a fare. People actually gave him a $1 just for doing that. I did manage to see him pull out a wad of notes that would have paid for my holiday!!
    Years ago I worked in a very low paid job for the local Council and members of the public benefited from my labours but never once did I get tipped.
    You may call me 'scrooge' but I never get tipped when I save someone's life and I would not expect it. If people refused to accept low wages then management would have to pay a better rate of pay thus removing the need to expect a tip.
    If you visit a shop and get excellent service (and this it what you should get anyway) do you tip? I doubt it. So why tip a waiter just because he carries a plate of food some 20 feet? How about tipping the train driver or sewage worker or hospital staff?
    Sorry but I totally disagree with the whole idea and just will not subscribe to it.
  • Kennuf
    Kennuf Posts: 2 Newbie
    France and Holland
    I work in Paris and Holland. In both tipping a small amount is normal, but if you tip a lot they assume you have too much money!
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